Indiana hospitals receive Moderna vaccine ahead of holidays: ‘Things are off and running’

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INDIANAPOLIS –  It was a sign of hope at IU Health on Wednesday as 4,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine were delivered and ready to be administered to thousands of front-line workers.

While this is a step in the right direction, health experts are concerned and warning that positivity rates remain high. It’s not time to let your guard down, even if more vaccines are on the way over the next several weeks.

“Things are off and running,” said Chris Weaver, the chief clinical officer for IU Health.

Weaver calls the distribution time critical.

“Really, the one question and one worry is getting a good supply of the vaccines,” he added.

Hospitals across Indiana are receiving this second vaccine shipment after the FDA authorized emergency rollout following Pfizer’s distribution last week.

“We witnessed tears of joy, excitement and above all, relief,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver during the governor’s weekly COVID-19 update.

Still, healthcare experts and state leaders warn the COVID-19 fight is not over yet. Traveling and gatherings pick up for the holidays.

“Don’t pop the cork,” said Governor Eric Holcomb during his address on Tuesday.

Weaver added, “We don’t know for sure how much you might still spread it, spread COVID, and so everybody needs to stay smart, keep social distancing in play and keep their masks on. Keep any gatherings to a minimum and travel safe if you are going to have to travel.”

Some are questioning this after the Thanksgiving surge wasn’t as high as expected.

“Look, we are always going to be concerned,” said Holcomb. “Maybe our surge wasn’t as great as it could have been anticipated. We are still at an abnormally high positivity rate.”

A reminder to do the right thing this Christmas and New Year to protect you and your loved ones.

“Please come and get your vaccine when it’s your time, and until then, keep wearing your mask and keep social distant,” said Weaver.

The state is working to determine who will be eligible next for the vaccine. They’re consulting with an external vaccine advisory committee.

Experts have to consider what is the risk of exposure? What is the risk of exposing others? And how much of the vaccine is available?

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